This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 18, 2014:
On Monday afternoon, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (shown) declared a state of emergency for the entire state to prepare for the anticipated reaction to the expected jury decision to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson after Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown. Nixon explained why he issued his executive order:
There is the possibility of expanded unrest; and … The State of Missouri will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction of [the grand jury’s] announcements; and… Our citizens and businesses must be protected from violence and damage, Therefore … I do hereby declare a State of Emergency exists in the State in Missouri.
Under that order he created a “Unified Command” consisting of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis County Police Department, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Governor Nixon said that the Unified Command overrides the local police department of Ferguson, stating that it “shall have command and operational control of security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.”
That command will extend from the City of Ferguson to the St. Louis region as well. The order expires in 30 days unless it is extended or renewed.
In addition, the FBI issued a bulletin stating that the grand jury’s decision, whether it indicts or exonerates officer Wilson, “will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement [as well as] critical infrastructure.”
According to Rockit Ali, one of Ferguson’s protest organizers, “Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice. There is no revolution without violence.”
There’s the Organization for Black Struggle, headed up by Montague Simmons, who told the New York Times that his group was part of a growing group with “a clear message about what we are about and what kind of behavior we are looking for” which, according to the Times, includes “carefully orchestrated plans for a series of shows of protest and civil disobedience.”
Ali and Simmons are getting a lot of outside help. Simmons’ group is affiliated with the Black Workers for Justice, the Coalition Against Police Crime & Repression, Hands Up United, Millennial Activists United, Sister Songs, and the US Human Rights Network.
There’s the Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, headed up by Derek Laney, who said, “We want to appear strong and forceful because we believe in what we’re pursuing. But we also definitely want everyone to know we’re committed to nonviolence. We want to disrupt. We want to make the comfortable uncomfortable.”
According to the New York Times,
Some of the national leaders met with President Obama on Nov. 5 for a gathering that included a conversation about Ferguson.
According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has appeared frequently in St. Louis with the Brown family and delivered a speech at Mr. Brown’s funeral, Mr. Obama “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating. He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”
Ashley Yates, a co-founder of Millennial Activists United, said, “If they [the grand jury] can’t serve justice in this, the people have every right to go out and express their rage in a manner that is equal to what we have suffered.” She added, “We’re going to take our anger out on the people who have failed us, and if they are prepared to deal with that, then let them have at it…. Don’t come to Ferguson if you aren’t ready to die. Stay at home, as it could happen.”
More than 50 such groups have gathered in or near Ferguson for weeks now, participating in what the Times says are “intense” planning involving dozens of “training meetings,” some of which encourage protesters to push the envelope of police patience, hoping to incite retaliation.
Those tactics include stepping into a police line in a blatant invitation to be arrested, or stopping traffic at critical street intersections by lying in the roadway, as evidenced by a training session on Sunday of a “die-in” that stopped traffic on a local street.
One of the experienced masters at egging on the police to commit violence in the process of defending themselves is Bassem Masri, a criminal from St. Louis with an arrest record that is pages long. In a revealing clip published by Fox 2 News in St. Louis in October, here is how Masri incites violence in a confrontation with police. The script has had Masri’s obscenities edited out:
It was October 8, the night an off-duty officer shot and killed VonDerett Myers, Jr. [the officer was returning fire]. Crowds surround officers who back away.
A man holding a cell phone says, “What [are] you doing here, bro? Get the **** out of here with your coward *** boys.”
It was Bassem Masri who said this as he streamed video…
Masri yelled at an officer: “Coward straight pig out here *****! You gotta go. Your life is in danger, homie!”
People [in the crowd] appear to feed off of his energy. Masri told an officer: “What happens when we take your gun?” That officer protects his gun. Another officer protecting his gun was answered with screams: “He has his hand on his gun!”
The citizens surrounded [the officer] and chanted: “Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!”
When asked about the kind of stress this puts the officer under, police officer Joe Steiger, the president of the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, said, “It takes a tremendous amount of restraint. It’s human nature for [officers] to want to react to that.” And that’s what Masri and others are counting on to spark the tinder box in Ferguson once the grand jury issues its verdict.
Masri expressed hope that Ferguson would go national, noting in a tweet dated November 6, that so does the Department of Justice: “DOJ said the Administration is FULLY aware of the national anger against [local] law enforcement&going2use the reform [of the Ferguson police department] on a national level.”
In that single revelation is explained what all the trouble in Ferguson is about: provoked and planned dissatisfaction with local police’s ability to keep the peace, generating support for a “Unified Command” as a first step to a national police force.
As reporter Mike Adams noted, if the planned riots in Ferguson take place according to script, they will be rolled out to other cities “with the highest African-American populations living in difficult conditions. Those cities include Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit and many more.”